The Georgia Supreme Court’s recent decision permits defense counsel to conduct ex parte meetings with a plaintiff’s treating healthcare providers (Baker et al. v. Wellstar Health Systems, Inc. et al., 2010 WL 2159372 (2010)). This decision reaffirms and clarifies the Supreme Court’s finding in Moreland v. Austin, 284 Ga. 730 (2008), that defense counsel can informally interview a plaintiff’s treating healthcare providers if they “obtain a valid authorization, or court order or otherwise comply with the provisions of 45 C.F.R. § 164.512(e).” There had been some confusion among trial courts regarding how the Moreland decision should be applied and the proper procedural requirements that must be satisfied for ex parte meetings to occur.
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